WHO Chief Scientist hails India's role in Covid-19 drug trial

WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said India is one of the largest contributors to the global solidarity trial to provide robust results on whether a drug can save lives in patients hospitalised with severe or critical Covid-19.

"World Health Organisation (WHO) has set up a global solidarity platform because it recognised that multiple small clinical trials will be done but will not be leading to conclusive results," Dr Swaminathan said during the opening ceremony of the seminar of PANEX-21. WHO Chief Scientist stressed that a pandemic requires multicountry and collaborative platform trials. "...an adaptive design where we bring on drugs to test...do it in very large sample size, an look at endpoints which are of public health importance like mortality," she said.

Dr Swaminathan informed that WHO has set up a Solidarity vaccine trial platform. "We have recognised that more vaccines that are in development need to be tested properly in clinical trials. If you have a large multicountry platform trail, you can quickly enrol subjects."

"In a country like India, we can do the trial within India because we have such a huge population, and every possible disease can be tested. Plus, we have the capacity. We have human resources and infrastructure," she said.

"Armymen can contribute a lot more in medical research because of some inherent advantages -- more or less a...population that can be followed and excellent facilities across the military hospitals," WHO Chief Scientist added.


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